Stage 5 - Santa Barbara to Avila Beach, May 16
A start along the beach in Santa Barbara will see the race retrace much of a route we used in 2006, but in reverse. This will take the race over the steep and windy San Marcos Pass (Hwy 154) before descending into the Lake Cachuma Recreation Area. A second KOM looms as the riders tackle Foxen Canyon outside of Los Olivos. The race will pass through Santa Maria and the quaint farm town of Guadalupe that gave us such a warm welcome in 2006. A sprint in Arroyo Grande will foreshadow an expected massive sprint at the finish. Avila Beach is unlike any town the race has visited in its eight years. It has several quaint shops, a beautiful beach, and a picturesque harbor. But on May 16th, the 1,700 residents will be joined by several thousand race fans to watch the peloton come storming down the 200m of Front Street to capture the stage win. With a narrow left turn in the final 300m of the race and a slight rise in the final meters to the finish, positioning will be crucial to win this stage.